The Australian Open for 2014 is starting up on ESPN and streaming online from Melbourne for the first grand slam of the year and the schedule for TV coverage is on ESPN2 and the Tennis Channel and heading into the first round this week Rafael Nadal, Serena Williams and Novak Djokovic will be in action.
Serena Williams and Rafael Nadal are coming into the tournament as winners of the last grand slam at the US Open and they are the number one seeds, while the number two seeds in the men's and women's brackets are the defending Aussie Open champs in Novak Djokovic and Victoria Azarenka. Venus Williams was upset in the first round for the second time in her career and it came after she played well previously and she lost in three sets to Ekaterina Makarova on Monday and now she is out and it came after Williams had chances and at one point she was up three games to none in the final set, but she could not hold on.
In the other bracket Li Na won her match and now she is looking to get to the finals for the third time and she lost to Azarenka in the finals last year and she will be another challenger with Williams the favorite. Williams lost in her 14th career Australian Open and now she will go home early and her sister will be considered to the top favorite after she lost just four times last season and she was dominant towards the end of the year and she comes in after winning in Brisbane. Nadal won in Qatar and he comes in trying to continue his dominant year on hard courts last season.
Here is more from the Australian Open on results and scores and matches from the day, including Venus Williams losing from Reuters.com.
Makarova, who upset an injured Serena Williams in the fourth round of the 2012 Australian Open, completed a Melbourne Park sweep of the Williams sisters by eliminating Venus 2-6 6-4 6-4 to advance to the second round on Monday.
The 22nd seeded Russian came back from 3-0 down in the deciding set as seven-times grand slam champion Williams struggled to hold serve at Margaret Court Arena. Li Na started the Australian Open like a woman on a mission on Monday by brutally dispatching Croatian teenager Ana Konjuh 6-2 6-0 in just over an hour.
Another former grand slam champion, though, bid an early farewell to the tournament when American Venus Williams blew a 3-0 lead in the deciding set to crash out 2-6 6-4 6-4 at the hands of Russian Ekaterina Makarova.
World number one Serena Williams begins her bid for a sixth Melbourne Park title against local Ash Barty on Rod Laver Arena later on Monday and Novak Djokovic kicks off his campaign for a fourth straight title against Lukas Lacko in the first evening match on the main showcourt.
Former French Open champion Li, twice a losing finalist at Melbourne Park, simply bludgeoned her young opponent into submission with her fierce groundstrokes to lay down a marker for the other leading contenders for the women's title.
The fourth seed has become a big crowd favorite in Melbourne Park after her two runs to the final and was again well supported on Hisense Arena as she rode Konjuh's early challenge before racing away with the second set.
The 33-year-old Williams had conceded a decisive break in the second set with three successive double-faults and was powerless to prevent Makarova from sealing the match in a hurry.
Makarova brought up three match points with a big volley and closed it out when Williams blasted long on the second of them.
The Russian next faces American Irina Falconi. (Reuters)